MATTOON -- Russell Lee "Russ" Whitecotton Jr. passed away December 11, 2017 at Palm Terrace Health Care Center in Mattoon, where he had lived for the past four years during his battle with cancer.
Russell was born July 18, 1942 in Adel, Dallas County, Iowa, the first son of Russell Lee and Lora Ann (Brown) Whitecotton.
He is survived by three daughters, Tina, Tona, and Teri; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Lawrence Allen; two sisters, Daisey Alyce and Mary Ann; and one grandson, Dustin Nathaniel.
Russ enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 17, and served with the 1st ABN Brigade, 101st ABN Division, 501st Inf, and the 82nd ABN Div. During his time in service he parachuted 128 times. Having attained the rank of SSGT E-6, and a member of the Raiders Brigade he was sent to West Point to train Cadets several times prior to their deployment to Vietnam.
Russ received his orders to Vietnam in July 1965, just two months before his twin daughters were born, returned home in May 1966, and was honorably discharged on October 22, 1966.
He had been self employed as a carpet installer in the Coles County area, working through Parrish Carpet in Mattoon for many years before becoming an over the road long haul truck driver until he suffered a stroke in 2006.
A memorial with military rites will be held at a later date and his cremated remains will be scattered at sea at a later date.
Memorial donations can be sent to the Palm Terrace Health Care Center Residential Activities Fund at 1000 Palm Terrace Avenue, Mattoon, IL 61938.
A special Thank You is extended to Karen and Julie at Lincoln Land Hospice and all of the nursing staff and caregivers at Palm Terrace.